Porter’s Five Forces: The Ultimate Guide to the Porter’s Five Forces Framework

As a business owner, you may spend most of your time learning how the competitive forces shape your strategy. The competitive forces and markets are not always static and conducting reviews is crucial to ensuring your company's success. That's where the Porter's five forces come into play. Here is a guide to help you know more about the Porter's five forces model.

What is the Porter's five forces framework?

Porter's five forces model was created by Michael Porter to help businesses analyze industry attractiveness and profitability. It is an analytical model that helps businesses to identify the industry structure and enables organizations to identify competitive strategies. The model can be applied to any segment.  Here are the five forces.

Power of buyers

Consumers can affect the prices when they have more bargaining power. As such, they'll drive the prices down. A company with smaller but powerful clients means the customer has more power to negotiate lower prices. On the other hand, if the company has many independent customers, it can charge higher prices and increase its profitability.

Power of suppliers

Suppliers can use their power to increase the prices of products and services. The fewer suppliers, the more power they have to control the market.

Threat of substitutes

Substitute goods are used in place of your company's products. The substitutes can be a threat to your business. If your company produces goods and services with no close substitutes, you'll have more power to increase the prices. When there are close substitutes, customers have the option to forgo purchasing your products and buy the substitute which will weaken your company's power. 

The threat of new entrants

New entrants in the market mean that an organization's power is reduced. Most companies prefer to operate in an industry with fewer players. An industry with strong barriers is excellent for the existing companies since they can charge higher prices.

Competitive rivalry

When there's a higher degree of competition, it shows that the power of competing companies is reduced. When there is low competition, companies can increase their profits. Competitive rivalry looks at the competitor's strength. You'll be able to determine who your competitors are, how many there are, and how their product quality compares with yours.

In an industry with intense rivalry, organizations can attract customers with high-impact marketing campaigns. In markets where there are numerous rivals, buyers and suppliers can go elsewhere if they don't get a good deal from your company. In an industry with minimal competitive rivalry, it means no company is doing the same business as yours. Therefore, you'll enjoy healthy profits and strength. 

How to use the Porter's five forces model

The Porter's five forces model takes numerous forms depending on the business, money, and time you have to devote to the model. However, the basic steps followed are the same. Here are ways to use Porter's five forces.


The first thing you have to do when using the five forces model is to take time and brainstorm. When creating the list of the five categories, you may only think about the suppliers or competitors you interact with. However, it's crucial to consider the industry as a whole.


You should not skip the details that you think seem unimportant. The Porter's five forces model's primary purpose is to provide a complete picture of your market share and competitive advantage in your industry. The model is not a place where you list only the things you know, it's a way to uncover new information that affects your organization's future growth.

Evaluate data

You also have to make sure that you base your analysis on real numbers if possible. Even though some parts of the model may need industry hindsight, you'll still need to base your evaluation on the threat of other products or the bargaining power of suppliers.

Conduct analysis

The five forces analysis should be conducted regularly to keep track of the changes in your industry and take stock of how effective your business strategies are.


Porter's five forces is a powerful tool that helps you to understand your business environment and identify your organization's potential profitability. Understanding the forces in your industry will help you to adjust your business strategy.

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